Won't put on clothes, I need to leave the house! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-09-2012, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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My DS (3) has some sensory processing stuff, mostly minor, but the big thing right now it that he Will Not Wear Clothes.  He fights it tooth and nail.  Definitely no shoes but even diaper, shirts and pants are scream inducing.  I can't tell how much of this is behavioral and how much is genuine sensory discomfort.  His language is way behind and his comprehension is that of about a 1 - 1.5 year old so I can't reason with him or explain in a way he will really get.  yet he has the strength and emotional range of a 3 year old so we get good old fashioned tantrums when he is thwarted.


If he wants to go out, he knows he has to put on clothes and he will cooperate.  But if he doesn't want to go out, I basically have to hold him down screaming and shove the clothes on him.  I very, very rarely do this and only when I really need to get out but it is starting to drive me insane.  Right now I need to go to the grocery store but I just had a small battle with him to put on pants and a diaper.  I am trying not to make this a big battle of the wills.  I have tried everything i can think of to make it fun, rewards, games, me dancing around as excited as can be.  I have brought my clothes to the hall to get dressed there with him. I have tried "leaving" without him and when I come back he giggles at me and wants to play the "I get left alone" again game. 


Does anyone have any suggestions?  I am starting to really lose it and I know these kinds of battles just get worse when I am pissy and don't have the energy to make it "fun". 

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#2 of 7 Old 03-10-2012, 10:29 AM
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grouphug.gif  Don't have much to say, just hugs.  I went through this with my oldest (who is on the spectrum).  I'm afraid to say I did the dressing while he kicked and screamed (there were two other children, I was working, I didn't have a lot of choices).  I think it's great you are trying to avoid an epic battle of wills.


Only suggestions I have: 1) Try to make sure the clothes are the most comfortable possible.  Remove tags, experiment with different textures and styles to see what might be less offensive to him. 2) If he's easier to deal with a certain time of day, try it at that time.  Sometimes I have gotten my boys (they've both gone through funny sensory stuff) to dress in something like jogging pants at bed time because they're no good in the morning.

Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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#3 of 7 Old 03-24-2012, 12:39 PM
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Our 8yr old has sensory issues. Tags, the seam of socks, lumps in food, these are always issues.  But last winter he would literally only wear one pair of pants.  For months.  One pair of soft long john pants.  He would curl up under a blanket naked so we could wash them. We bought him other ones but they didn't feel right.  (He also has some issues with obsessive behavior) Eventually I found him some fleece pajama bottoms and he would wear those. I tried lots of different pants.    He spent a lot of time at home last winter.  And if we had to take him out he would wear the one pair of pants under jeans.  But he would complain the whole time.  He also went through a long period of not being able to wear a shirt while buckled up.  He would get so agitated by the feeling of the fabric.  This doesn't work well when it is 32 degrees out. 


I agree with Farmer Beth.  Try no tags.  Use a seam ripper to get them out.  If you cut the tag there will be that little piece left with can be agitating.  Play around with different material pants/shirts.  Fleece pajama bottoms, soft cottons, soft elastic waists. See what he responds too.  The thrift store is a great way to go.  


Hugs to you. It is so hard when they can fully communicate what it is exactly that is bothering them.  

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#4 of 7 Old 01-06-2013, 02:32 PM
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Hi Fizgig,


I apologize for crashing your post here but I don't have permission to send a private message and I have a question that I am hoping that you can help me with. I saw your posts on the Pregnancy forum where you had mentioned having a myomectomy done by Dr. Vaughn at the Texas Fertility Center. Please please email me at xcettera at yahoo if you can. I am about to schedule a myomectomy and I have some questions about your experience etc. This will be greatly appreciated as I am generally very nervous about the whole thing and would like to hear from someone who had direct experience with him. Thanks in advance!

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#5 of 7 Old 01-06-2013, 08:57 PM
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Yes, finding the right clothes can help. For YoungSon at that age, it was sweat pants and sweatshirts. A little later, age 6-8 IIRC, he could wear no shoes but Ugg boots. Year 'round. Then he went through a Crocs stage for a few years. Never any socks. And he has always been obsessive about clothing. For ages 5-9, he had a (ladies!) embroidered vest that he could not be without. He still, at 16, wears a Bob Marley hoodie he has had since he was 10. Lucky it is large - it looked silly then, but still almost fits! Getting him to change his clothes was an issue until the last couple years. And he used to chew on the neckline and sleeves of shirts - ewww - torn, wet and yucky, but he still would not change. And don't get me started about the whole bathing/hygiene issue!


I agree with the thrift store suggestion. Try all sorts of different textures, different fits. Loose nylon jogging suit? Long john type pajamas (so  tight that they don't rub or shift around)? Loose, fuzzy sweat pants? Maybe just shorts, and a blanket around his shoulders like a cape? Just keep trying until you find something that works... Or he outgrows this stage.


This too shall pass.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#6 of 7 Old 01-13-2013, 05:58 PM
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My son was similar when he was young, getting dressed to get out of the house was a battle, though not quite to the same extent. I frequently had to wrestle him to get him dressed and felt so guilty he never really played in the snow because getting a snow suit on him was like, never going to happen. We luckily found some clothes that he tolerated and he just kept wearing them over and over. Is your LO in OT? They gave us a sensory diet that I think helped which included brushing over his clothes before bed and in the am and again in the afternoon if we could find the time. We also distracted by "racing" him to get dressed. He'd forget he didn't want to get dressed and actually play along with us, this required the effort of DH and I so one person could race and the other could assist DS with the actual dressing. Good luck- that can be exhausting!

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#7 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 11:37 PM
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Have you been doing a brushing protocol? My DS refused most clothing, was absolutely unable to tolerate denim and spent a very long time wearing mostly pajamas. We started brushing his arms and legs with a soft medical brush his OT gave us 45 minutes a day (15 minutes morning afternoon and evening) and it decreased his tactile sensitivity.

Mama of 3, living in beautiful British Columbia Canada.


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